Photos must be taken underwater by the entrant. No aquarium or pool shots. Photographers may submit images originally taken with any medium. All images must be submitted digitally. Images derived from original film or digital files will be judged on an equal basis.

Photos/videos of captive and domesticated animals are not permitted in any SFUPS contests. Photos or videos captured in pools or other artificial bodies of water are also not permitted unless stated in a specific month’s contest. Animals in distress or under manipulation should never be submitted.

Each month the contest is divided into two categories – Masters and Challengers. A maximum of 2 images TOTAL per person may be submitted per month – either one in each category or two in a single category.

If you have been a “Photographer of the Year”, then you are considered a Master and are only allowed to compete in the Masters category each month. Everyone else is considered a Challenger and may compete in either category or both categories, with a maximum of two entries per month.

Images must adhere to the monthly subject matter. Some subjects are more open to interpretation, while others are very specific. Consult your I.D. books or photographer friends if you are unsure. For example, make sure you are not entering a filefish photo in the triggerfish category. Images that do not adhere to the subject matter may be disqualified at the time of judging.

Throughout the year, we also have special on-the-day contests. OTD contests with 10 or more entries will award 1st thru 5th place (with 5, 4, 3, 2 and 1 point respectively). Three places will be awarded if there are less than 10 entries. Everyone will compete on an equal basis for these special contests.

Persons with winning or placing images agree to allow SFUPS to publish their images in the next month’s newsletter, on the SFUPS website, on SFUPS managed social media, and in the annual Holiday Party digital presentation. All copyrights remain with the photographer.

Once an image has placed, please refrain from entering that image in future competitions. Images that have already placed will be rejected.



All judging will be done online. Club members are allowed up to two votes per category and may not vote for their own image. Only one vote per entry is permitted. If you wish to vote twice in a category, you must pick two different entries.


Points will be totaled to determine the annual SFUPS Photographer of the Year and other awards. Awards will be presented at the annual Holiday Party. When participation is 10 images or more, 5 places will be awarded. When participation is less than 10 images, three places will be awarded.

Points will be awarded as follows:
First Place = 5 points,
Second Place = 4 points,
Third Place = 3 points,
Fourth Place = 2 points,
Fifth Place = 1 point.

Challengers who place in the Masters Category will receive 1.5 times the points as follows:
First Place = 7.5 points,
Second Place = 6 points,
Third Place = 4.5 points,
Fourth Place = 3 points,
Fifth Place = 1.5 points.


All contest entries must be submitted via our online system of submission and voting. The submission period will close at midnight the second Saturday prior to the monthly meeting date. The voting period will start as soon as the submission period ends, and run for one week until midnight the Saturday prior to the meeting. You are allowed two votes per category.

Please prepare your images as follows:

  • Resize your images to 1400 pixels on the long side.
  • Images should be submitted in JPEG format.
  • Color space should be sRGB.
  • Pixels per inch (or dpi) should be 144 OR keep your file size to 1MB or less
  • Rename your image file to include your photo title, month and category. Do not use any spaces or special characters (@, &, ‘, /, ?, !, etc.) in the file name, only dashes or underscores. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR NAME.
    For Example: Photo Title: What’s That Thing!
    File Name: WhatsThatThing-JuneMastr.jpg

To submit your entry(s) go to or the “Enter and Vote” drop down under the “Contests” tab. You must be logged in with your email and password. Complete instructions may be found HERE.


  1. Authenticity of Images: All submitted images must be the original work of the photographer. This includes maintaining the integrity of the subject and the scene as it was photographed. Minor adjustments such as color adjustments, minor cropping, backscatter removal, and sharpening are permissible.

  2. Prohibition of Advanced AI and Photoshop Features: Images should represent reality. The use of advanced AI features, such as image extension, generating new elements, generating entire images, or significantly altering the content of the image, is strictly prohibited. Similarly, extensive manipulations (via Photoshop, Lightroom, Topaz, etc.) that significantly alter the image are not allowed. Removing or adding items to the image is prohibited.

  3. No Composite Images: Composite images, whether generated in-camera or through post-processing, are not permitted. This ensures that all photographs represent a single moment in time and scene.

  4. Verification Process: In cases where the authenticity of an image is questioned, the board reserves the right to request the original or raw file of the image for verification. This is similar to practices in journalism competitions.

  5. Honor System and Penalties: Submissions are accepted on an honor system. However, if a participant is found to be using prohibited technology or techniques, they may be disqualified and potentially barred from future contests, subject to board review.


The Challenger accumulating the most points during the year will receive the top award and will be named “SFUPS Photographer of the Year” . They will become a “Master” for future intra-club contests. Runner-up awards may also be given at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

The Master accumulating the most points during the year will receive the “Master of the Year” award. Runner-up awards may also be given at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

The Videographer accumulating the most points during the year will receive the “Videographer of the Year” award. Runner-up awards may also be given at the discretion of the Board of Directors.